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UW Concert Choir heads east during spring break

March 7, 2011

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Concert Choir leaves Madison on Friday, March 11, for a seven-city, five-state tour that stretches from Oberlin, Ohio, to Cambridge, Mass.

Under the direction of Beverly Taylor, director of choral activities, the 48-member choir will perform sacred and secular repertoire from the 16th through the 21st centuries.

The Concert Choir, one of seven choirs at the School of Music, includes music majors and non-majors and undergraduates and graduate students. The choir has premiered works by John Harbison, Thea Musgrave and Luna Woolf and has performed at American Choral Directors Association and National Collegiate Choral Organization conferences. During the spring break of 2009, the choir toured Germany and France, with appearances at Freiburg, Notre Dame and Chartres cathedrals and La Madeleine Church in Paris.

The tour program includes a cappella motets by Renaissance masters Orlando di Lasso and William Byrd, sung in Latin; motets by J.S. Bach and Felix Mendelssohn, sung in German; works by 20th century composers Samuel Barber, Herbert Howells, Norman Dinerstein and Astor Piazzolla; the “Santa Fe Vespers” by Robert Kyr (b. 1952), commissioned by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the “Vespers of 1610” by Monteverdi; “The Making of the Drum” by Robert Chilcott (b. 1955), conducted by graduate assistant Michael Pfitzer; and a group of folk songs and spirituals.

The tour will begin with a concert in Oberlin, Ohio, followed by stops in West Brandywine and West Chester, Penn.; the University of Maryland, College Park; and Westport, Conn., and Cambridge, Mass., before concluding at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh. The choir plans to tour the White House while they are in the Washington area.

The Concert Choir will perform its spring home concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, in Mills Hall.